The Fairytale Vianden Castle, Luxembourg

Recently, I spent a wonderful long weekend in Luxembourg, exploring the city and a few of the many castles found in the surrounding countryside, which was lush and green and very picturesque. The highlight of the weekend for me was the pretty town of Vianden with its impressive medieval castle, perched on the wooded hillside, looking down on the town far below.

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The Magic of Paris at Christmas

Christmas markets a plenty, department stores dripping in festive bling and avenues of trees sparkling with fairy lights – these images and more swam in my head as I boarded the Eurostar train at St Pancras Station in London. A little more than two hours later I was in Paris. Why? To photograph the City of Lights at Christmas.

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Journey back in time on a steam train to Bodiam Castle

Standing on the platform I can’t yet see the train but I can hear it. Images of Casey Jones (a steaming and a rollin’) pop into my head. As I hear the first ‘Woo Woo’ a beautiful Victorian steam locomotive comes chugging around the corner. It slows to a halt and I jump onboard, as excited as a six year old on their first ever train ride. But this isn’t simply a train ride. This fabulous old train is taking me to a fairytale castle where knights once woed fair maidens and, no doubt slayed the odd dragon or two.

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Brighton Street Art

With Phil Lynott and Elvis looking over my shoulder I tried out Periscope, the live streaming phone app, for the first time in Brighton earlier this week. This colourful seaside town on the south coast of England is well known for its street art and not least for Banksy’s Kissing Policemen which is where I started my mini tour of the murals in the Trafalgar Street area near the train station.

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Falling for the skyscrapers of Dubai

Stepping out onto the viewing terrace I look up at the tower which still seems to carry on forever, up and up into the sky. There’s another 37 floors above us. Looking down the 125 floors to the ground below, the neighbouring skyscrapers take on a diminutive appearance as the city stretches out before me. The views are staggering…

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Amberley Castle (and an indulgent afternoon tea).

Walking down a country lane, I turn a corner and catch my first sight of the 12th century, Amberley Castle, in the South Downs National Park in the south of England. I have lived all my life just 15 miles away yet had never visited before. When my mother asked me what I would like for my 50th birthday I knew straight away – afternoon tea at Amberley Castle, now an elegant hotel and restaurant.

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The Cotswolds in Black and White

When I recently visited the Cotswolds, a particularly lovely region of England famous for its honey-hued limestone cottages and the most charming of villages, I was very disappointed that the weather forecast predicted rain. A clear blue sky and sunlight really brings...

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Beheadings, ravens and whopping great diamonds!

As I walk through the one foot deep, steel doors, that would have looked more at home protecting a high-tech bank vault in the latest blockbuster, I catch my breath and gaze at the bejewelled sword and scabbard suspended in the air before...

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Step back in time in La Laguna

Standing on the still wet cobbles which glistened in the sunshine, in a beautiful courtyard, I may be soaked to the skin but I'm smiling. I feel as if I've been transported to another time and another place. I'm in a bubble trapped in history, way back at the turning...

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Street Art in Athens

Love it or hate it, in Athens you can't ignore it, street art is everywhere from simple tags, saying 'I was here' to sophisticated, commissioned murals, that have clearly taken time, as well as real talent, to create. Everywhere you turn you'll see it...

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In pictures, a walking tour of Florence

As well as lots of delicious cooking, and of course eating, during my recent trip to Tuscany, my host Flavours Holidays included not only a wine tasting trip but also a day out in Florence. After all, it would be a crime to visit this part of Tuscany and not see both...

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Exploring Cagliari, Sardinia’s ancient capital

Cagliari (or Casteddu in Sardu meaning castle) on the south coast of Sardinia, is the island's capital and was once the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia. It is an ancient city, known to have been inhabited as long ago as the Neolithic period, over...

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From tree-top towers to African street art

Having woken up to the dawn chorus of Makasutu Forest and then spent the morning taking a ridiculous number of photos of a troupe of baboons - just a few of which I shared in a previous post, The Baboons of Makasutu Forest - we stopped by what is known as Base Camp....

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Top 10 things to do in Rome

Rome has to be one of Europe's most popular city breaks and on my first visit I was mesmerised by her history and splendour. I spent an exhausting few days trying to cram in as much as possible, then rather regretted not taking things a little slower,...

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The magic of Brussels at Christmas, Part 1

Decadent Wittamer hot chocolate and the beauty of Brussels' Grand Place... I've recently returned from a wonderful weekend exploring Brussels in all her Christmas finery. For many years now I've been longing to visit Belgium but I had never quite made it there, other...

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The exquisite Ravenna mosaics

While I had heard of the Ravenna mosaics, I had no idea just what an amazing experience visiting them would be. They are among the most beautiful things I have ever seen and it is no wonder that these unique early Christian monuments are all listed as UNESCO World...

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Overcoming my fear of heights in Bologna

I have so many wonderful things I want to share with you from my recent stay in Bologna and thousands of photographs that it was hard to know where to start. So let's start from the top! The top of the tallest tower in Bologna, the Asinelli Tower - that's 318...

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London Days Out: The Natural History Museum

I'd heard good things about the Natural History Museum in South Kensington in London, so when we arrived to find a long queue I wasn't too worried, thinking it would be worth the wait. And boy, was it worth it. Even without a single exhibit inside this is a must see...

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